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Old 19 Mar 2010, 11:02 pm
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Question Looking for starting help

Over the past 3 months I have dumped over $2000 into my 2001 PT Cruiser. It's the basic car and has over 132,000 miles on it. It started out dying at an idle. Then it died all together. I got it towed to a mechanic who said the fuel pump went out. So I replaced that to the tune of $600. He then asked when the last time the timing belt was changed. I didn't know as I had gotten the car at 126,000. I know my fault for buying a car with so many miles. I got the car back and that's when things really started going bad. The idle problem still happened it would die when it was at an idle and run really rough when it would stay running. He cleaned the fuel injectors it wasn't the issue. I then took it to a actual Chrysler dealer who charged me $300 for an engine tune and to see if they could fix the idle issue. It idled fine when I got it back but then when I would press on the gas it started chugging. I took it back to the mechanic who said I really needed the timing belt fixed. So, he changed the belt, the water pump and a new serpentine belt. 800 bucks later, I get the car back. Now the issue I'm having is I can turn the ignition on and it will start up when it's a cold engine, but if it's warmed up I turn the key and it acts like it wants to start, I release the key and turn it again and it starts. I took it back to the mechanic and he said the crank shaft and something else weren't registering when they hooked it up to the computer. So they replaced that...$106 bucks later. They said it sometimes did it but otherwise it worked fine. Just got it back yesterday. Started this morning no problem. Went out not 5 hours later and same issue. Called the mechanic back and he said to wait and see how it does over the weekend. Does anyone know what the issue with the starting it could be? I can't afford to dump more money into this car. I just need it to run for a bit longer until I can trade it in, but, I still need it to run. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 20 Mar 2010, 02:31 am
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Join Date: Sep 2001
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Default Re: Looking for starting help

Since you had so many people look at it and they don't seem to be able to diagnose your problem, I can just take a guess at a couple things but it will cost you some money.

One, you said you had a tune up, so if you still have the paperwork, see if they changed the plug wires. Even though they said "tune-up doesn't mean they changed the wires. Second, you might have a faulty cam sensor. I know they changed the Crank sensor but a lot of people have trouble with the other one. Also, See if you can ask the mechanic that changed the Crank sensor if he used a Chrysler part or an aftermarket sensor. Many owners have used aftermarket sensors and found they didn't work well.

Old rule of thumb; Even though you replaced a part, doesn't mean that part was good.
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Old 20 Mar 2010, 12:12 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Billings, MT
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Default Re: Looking for starting help

First off, you need a new mechanic. A good, competent mechanic will not guess the problem and have you continually paying for services that he's not sure will fix the problem. The car never should have left his shop until he had the problem 100% diagnosed. That's what you're paying for. He's throwing you for a loop, it sounds like. The timing belt wouldn't have caused any of the problems you had. He just wanted the money.

If the engine starts fine while cold, but has trouble while hot, that's a symptom of a bad fuel pump. Did he actually replace it, or just say he did? Did he use an aftermarket pump?
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Old 20 Mar 2010, 12:16 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glendale, AZ
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Default Re: Looking for starting help

Quote:
Originally Posted by heifetz17 View Post
First off, you need a new mechanic. A good, competent mechanic will not guess the problem and have you continually paying for services that he's not sure will fix the problem. The car never should have left his shop until he had the problem 100% diagnosed. That's what you're paying for. He's throwing you for a loop, it sounds like. The timing belt wouldn't have caused any of the problems you had. He just wanted the money.

If the engine starts fine while cold, but has trouble while hot, that's a symptom of a bad fuel pump. Did he actually replace it, or just say he did? Did he use an aftermarket pump?
What heifetz said.

Always ask the mechanic: Is this a guess or is it a fix? Any fool can replace parts until something works.
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